Supply Chain Now
Episode 428

Episode Summary

“Digital transformation is not an end, but a means.  It’s important to understand that it is simply the process of using technology to improve how you operate your business.”

-Greg White, Host of TECHquila Sunrise

 

The ‘TECHquila Sunrise’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions in Supply Chain Tech every week. If you are looking for a podcast about ‘so-and-so signed a contract with such and such,’ or ‘they just released version 20 of that same technology you didn’t buy last year,’ this is the wrong podcast for you. But if you are looking for real news and innovation, welcome to the Sunrise.

Episode Transcript

Greg White (00:00):

Hey, what is digital transformation? Anyway, this week at tequila sunrise, I’ll tell you what I think about digital transformation and what it means to you. If you’re a tech company, investor or supply chain enterprise, I’ll share insights on the big commerce IPO, the sad state of the rest of the supply chain tech index and this week startup funding updates. So listen up it’s time to wake up to tequila. Sunrise we’re unfortunately, without the aid of tequila, we opened your eyes to how startups and venture investing techs focused on supply chain tech every week, this unholy hour of the day, if you want a taste of how tech startup growth and investment has done, join me every Thursday for another blinding tequila, sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now I am always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it.

Greg White (01:11):

My goal is to inform and lighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey. Hey, in case you’re listening in supply chain now main channel, you should know, you need to subscribe to tequila, sunrise, wherever you get, your podcasts will only be in the mainstream for a couple of weeks more. Go subscribe to tequila sunrise today. So you don’t miss a thing. You might’ve seen that. I took on another advisory role. I’m working now with clarity capital partners. So my good friend, Steve Keaveny along with his partners, John Stein year, and Mary Roberts invited me to join him. And I felt like it was the right thing to do because they are so committed to helping small and midsize companies with mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity capital, and advising them about the appropriate sources and partners to help them meet their goals. Look, I have been there when you are running a business navigating business finance options is first of all, the last thing you want to do and can seem overwhelming and complex and distracting.

Greg White (02:18):

So I’ve worked with Steve for years and I’ve seen him help companies maximize valuation and select the right financing options to get companies where they want to go. I’m excited to be working with this team and, and to help them get companies in position to take it to the next level or take over a market or take some chips off the table. It’s really gratifying for me and for the team to help founders, executive teams and shareholders make their vision a reality. And whether you need finance, you need help. You need executive and strategy advisory. This team can help you shape your new reality. Look, if you’re considering an equity, raise debt financing, a merger, or even seeking an acquisition, consider the team at clarity. Look as always, you can talk to me first, reach out to me on LinkedIn or reach out directly to Steve at clarity, clarity, exit.com.

Greg White (03:16):

All right, let’s see what’s going on in supply chain tech this week. First, let’s start with the deal ticker. Hey, those smaller deals are down a huge percentage. This year, there are some deals getting done this week. We had 183 funding rounds for $7.8 billion, 70 acquisitions for 36 billion. Remember last week we had 202 funding rounds for 9.8 and 81 acquisitions for 27 billion. So businesses still getting done though, as I’ve talked to some of my favorite small business tech entrepreneurs, money is hard to come by if you don’t already have it. So I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. Hey, this week on the tequila sunrise supply chain tech stock index, man, that’s a mouthful, a new entrant to the index this week. Congratulations to big commerce, a Shopify competitor for going public. The IPO initially priced at $24 a share and big commerce closed its first day trading up 201% the company went from a pre IPO valuation of $1.5 billion to over 5 billion in valuation in under a week.

Greg White (04:32):

And that’s a big, big move. The stock just over the five days that it’s been trading so far has been up and down as high as 98. I believe now down around in the 75 76 range. Even with that incredible valuation, that’s still a fraction of current member Shopify who is worth $120 billion. Still, as we talked about last week, the big commerce team has reached the big lakes. So stock up, Hey, otherwise not a great week for the index. And particularly week on Tuesday, as a reminder, let’s go through the list of index stocks and the ups and downs. The downs will be tough. The ups pretty easy. Oracle SAP can access Aspen technologies, Manhattan Kupa, Amazon Decart PTC S P S commerce and a plan OpenText and even Shopify all down from last week only park city group and SPS commerce, both up a couple of percentage points are up at all over the last week.

Greg White (05:40):

As I’ve said, I am no stock analyst, but it looks like there is a somewhat of a market correction going on. So I wouldn’t read too much into that. All right, let’s take a look at some of the notable private supply chain deals. As I said, money is tight for startups, particularly early stage and seed startups, but there are deals getting done. And some of these are actual seed deals. So let’s take a look. Return logic, camp Hill, Pennsylvania based returns management platform for retailers raise $2 million in financing. Bankers included rise of the rest seed fund. That’s an interesting fun by revolution funds that is specifically targeting non Valley companies and companies in otherwise under or under appreciated markets, amplify cultivation, capital SAS, venture stout street, capital springtime ventures, and Ben Franklin technology partners who knew old Ben was a tech investor should have guessed, right?

Greg White (06:42):

It looks like this is a early, early stage because the company States that they’ll be using the funds to accelerate key initiatives to build its platform. Founder, Peter Sabata says the company provides a sass returns platform where retailers can enforce their return policies, automate workflows and connect the flow of information across backend operations. That’s really valuable. You know, I’m a big time Hawk on reverse logistics and circular economy and any technology that contributes to that. I really appreciate. So we’ll see how these guys do fleet ops, a Toronto Canada based data-driven freight marketplace raised $6 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by inspired capital resolute ventures, hike, ventures based camp fund, Newark venture partners, BCF pinash and Brian Thomas, all on his own. Brian Good job. The company intends to use the funds to deploy technology and dataset to brokerages around the globe. In 2017, Chris Atkinson founded the company.

Greg White (07:46):

And what fleet ops does is provides a marketplace that matches drivers with shipment opportunities, using vehicle data and AI to secure the driver’s side of their marketplace. They launched white labeled integrations with ELD providers and they partner with brokerages for the shipment side of their marketplace. They use large data sets to produce really advanced algorithms that make recommendations to drivers and to fleets. They offer additional services to drivers, dispatchers, and freight brokerages to help them run their business. In addition to the funding fleet ops is announcing new partnerships with load smart project 44 and ship. Well, all great partnerships. Look, this is a really crowded space. They better be doing something really special if they want to stand out. My quick assessment is that the making of recommendations to drivers and fleets is really, really valuable rather than just presenting the data approved.com a Tel-Aviv based procurement platform completed a $5 million seed funding round lots of supply chain tech coming out of Israel.

Greg White (08:51):

By the way, this round was led by Alef. The company is going to use the funds for global expansion establishing U S operations. There’s some jobs folks investing in growth for its R and D team and supporting new and existing accounts led by bar Winkler. I’m sure no relation to Henry Winkler co founder and CEO approve is a platform to streamline purchasing workflows and vendor interactions and gain critical insights into company. Spend the SAS platform creates custom automated workflows that streamline requests, orders and vendor onboarding. It plugs in with existing ERP solutions and securely sinks with real time budgets. There’s a searchable vendor database that includes updated business information and spend volume as well as unified dashboard that organizes all procurement related data in one place. You know, just in the last couple of weeks, we talked with Omnia partners who is a group purchasing organization for procurement, and this seems like would be a great sync with what they do.

Greg White (09:57):

So I’d love to hear from you procurement professionals out there. You know, that I am not deeply, uh, wise in the procurement space. So I’d love to get some insights into you. See something that really stands out in that marketplace, sand star, a Charlotte, North Carolina and Beijing, China based AI retail tech company received an investment from true digital Corp, a digital arm of true corporation, which is Thailand Telekom, uh, and Thailand cell company. Uh, the amount of the deal, part of a series B plus funding round. I’ll talk to that in just a second. It was not disclosed, but this funding did follow a B round in September, 2019 that brought the total investment to 25 million. So the reason a company would do a B plus round might be to bridge to the next level. Some companies will do a B, B plus, so they don’t have to change the terms and create new documents.

Greg White (10:57):

So this was probably done on the same terms as the B round and just additional capital to get them going, spending whatever the B round was from September till now would be surprising if it weren’t for the fact that nothing is surprising in this day and age previously, the company sand star received investments from Baidu ventures, huge from Ken’s and capital thing, Sean capital [inaudible] capital and Mobike by capital Yili Wu. The CEO says that SA sand star is an AI company that provides computer vision technology for the retail industry, the solutions engage shoppers with grab and go convenience, autonomous checkout, big data analytics for businesses worldwide. In fact, I took a quick look at what they do, and it can actually detect you walking up to what otherwise would be just a regular old cooler, but is effectively vending machine because of the technology that’s applied to it.

Greg White (11:56):

It can identify you identify your preferences and even make recommendations as to what you might want to buy. Based on what’s in the cooler, there’s a little bit about this company that just gives me reason to pause slightly. It seems to be largely hardware. So I don’t see this as a big multiple player, but watch me be raw. Okay. That’s it for deal talk for this week, but let’s start talking about a, another topic. This is a little bit different, the angle than we’ve taken in past episodes, but I have to answer this question. So many people have asked, so many opinions have been given the term is brought up almost every single day, and there are so many definitions of it. Why not just put one more out there? What is digital transformation? Anyway, I’m going to confess this might be as much rant as explanation or education, at least at the start look, this term is both overused and misused.

Greg White (12:53):

So I could be coming from a place of not really needing therapy more than giving education, this term digital transformation it’s of course, all the rage. It’s one of those catch phrases that many don’t really understand like cloud or omni-channel in their early days, like many new terms, it describes something fundamental and sometimes the explanations make the concept harder to get than it ought to be. So let’s take a practical look at what digital transformation is and what it means to you. First of all, digital transformation is not an end, but a means it’s important to understand that it is simply the process of using technology to improve how you operate your business going from manual or even high touch technical processes. It can be as basic as eliminating wasted time lost assignments, or as advanced as monitoring machinery operation and alerting you to take preemptive measures intent is to take advantage of the many ways technology can capture information, store it, analyze and communicate to you as alerts or even recommended decisions.

Greg White (14:07):

So let’s take a look at some examples of digital transformation. One of the most common digital transformations affects families as much as companies consider those hundreds of to do and task management, scheduling applications that are replacing post-its spreadsheets, whiteboards, chalkboards for keeping track of, of what needs to be done along with confirming that it gets done done on time and maybe even done right? The scenario I know of, and we’ll talk a little more about an erosion control contractor that uses a field service app to help their crews who are literally digging ditches surprise and delight their customers and outpace their competition. It sounds crazy, but it happened. Manufacturing companies are using predictive measures enabled by machine learning, mathematical algorithms and an artificial intelligence that require no human intervention to program computers. To know when machinery is operating out of safe or optimal ranges and alert, maintenance, and safety teams on precisely the actions necessary to prevent dangerous or costly catastrophe.

Greg White (15:13):

There are many other examples out there, and if you’re looking to be inspired or even overwhelmed, just look for examples of digital transformation. So what does digital transformation mean for you, your clients, your company, your investors, your world, a digital transformation at a company often means tackling distracting, but important or even menial, but time consuming issues that reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the people doing the job, such a transformation enables you to get your virtual, uh, expletive deleted together and improve your business to free you and your people from chaos to move you and your team to higher pursuits. Digital transformation enables you to eliminate, or at least get in front of problems in a way you simply can’t without the assistance of Terry technology. So how do you know if you need digital transformation? I get this question all the time and really in no particular order, here are the top ways I’ve found to know if you could benefit fit from a digital transformation.

Greg White (16:21):

One is if chaos reigns due to your inability to get in front of problems, if you are struggling to get job done, to get people on the job, to even know what the job is and assign it to people. If you’re doing mission critical tasks on spreadsheet or worse yet post it notes. I’m sorry, 3m and information is frequently lost or difficult to recall or even recorded incorrectly. If you are constantly saying, I wish X system could talk to Y and my team could know when a happens and we would be in front of problems like Z. If you have custom applications and it’s getting harder and harder to keep them going, or you’re worried about the health of the person, keeping it going. I’m going to tell you a story here in a second about that very thing. If you’re simply frustrated and you know, you need to do something to get better control over your business, but you don’t know where to start.

Greg White (17:25):

You might need a digital transformation. Thank you, Jeff Foxworthy. I want to relay a quote to you from somebody that I did a business with at a UN in a previous life at a previous company called KIRO. So this is the quote we got from one of the people I was redlining every day, just to keep up taking four to five hours to make the schedule. After a 10 hour day out on job sites every day, I’d take 100 calls at all hours of the day and night, mostly answering questions like where do I need to be? How do I get there? Who is the job site contact? How should I do this job? Does this look right? End quote that’s operations manager, Ashley Oester Holt from Watkins erosion in Georgia. Look, Ashley is one of the most even keeled folks you will ever meet.

Greg White (18:16):

He is willing to die to do a great job, but his boss, John Watkins was worried about that exact thing. He was concerned for Ashley and his health now realize this is an erosion control company. They literally literally had ditch diggers, not the first example you’d think of for digital transformation, but they saw the vision. They got it. And they did it. They made communication and coordination so much better. They were on the job site, 45 minutes earlier and 45 minutes on a five person. Crew is a huge hours saving for each job. So the benefit was really, really substantial for them. Look, you can learn from this. Yes. I’m going to call them advanced enterprise Watkins, erosion, and you’ll know whether you need digital transformation or if your technology can deliver one. So let me give you five steps to digital transformation, to do a transformation correctly.

Greg White (19:16):

You really first need to recognize that your goal is to improve your business, not complicate your life or complicate your processes with complex technological initiatives. Just that phrase makes it sound overwhelming. Digital transformation is truly not that hard if you do it right and keep it simple. In fact, you’ll realize that it has been done, right? If it is not that hard, here’s a five step quick start plan to get your own digital transformation going strong. One is to recognize that digital transformation like any change will be impactful and you’ll need those people in your company that will be impacted to be fully on board and bought in to the value and impact of a digital transformation to get buy in to from your team. They need to be aching hurting, coming to you, complaining for the change that you’re proposing. It must be an in your face pain, something they feel every day and they must fear the status quo the current condition more than the change.

Greg White (20:23):

And that’s critical to get a transformation to succeed. People have to be running fast away from their pain. They can’t, they won’t buy into an ROI, big benefits. They will buy into alleviating that fear that haunts them every single day. All right, three attack your big pain using the simplest technological solution possible both the new process, the new business process and the technology itself should be simple. If it’s as easy as hitting a like, or posting an angry tweet, then it will get done for monitor drive and tweak this transformation until the solution is effective. Adoption of the solution is easy and execution of the new process using the solution is sustained and repeatable five demonstrate the benefit for your team. That’s all in capital letters, the people more than your company, you know, you have fixed and you have created a transformation when folks are begging you to tackle their next pain with a digital transformation.

Greg White (21:40):

And you know, you don’t have permission to go on to the next digital transformation until they’re there until they’re completely bought into the transformation you’ve just deployed. Now, once you have done those five steps, go to number one and repeat, keep your focus strictly on the greatest pains, however you, or especially how your team defines them and keep your solutions as simple as possible as you conduct more transformations, you and your team will mature in your approach and be able to take on more complex initiatives, but start simple and start now and start with one. Look in addition to that, if you need help, get it. There are plenty of people out there that can give you free guidance or help guide you through the process and recognize that everyone has a day job in your company. So conducting a transformation may not be in the cards for just the team you have on deck.

Greg White (22:44):

You might need a few people to help you construct and guide and drive and catch flaws in a digital transformation. It’s just possible that running your business day to day has all your you and your team have time for. So if you feel like you or your team don’t have the time or knowledge or skills to get it done, get help. There are many companies, as I said out there to do it. If you don’t know any and you can’t find any, which would be probably tough in this day and age, but if you can’t find any look, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’d love to help you get a leg up and get a transformation done. But again, start simple. Now, get out there and make that business better. You may not believe it quite yet, but that is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Do not forget to get supply chain now, radio.com for more supply chain now, series interviews and events. And please, every Monday it seems like somebody is getting the message. Get your buzz on. Our LinkedIn live stream has been wild. The last couple of Mondays, thousands of people joining us live and tens of thousands, listening to the recording afterwards. So join Scott Luton and me each Monday at noon Eastern

Greg White (24:09):

Time, and find out

Greg White (24:13):

About the important supply chain news of the week. Okay, here it is. Here’s the big pitch,

Greg White (24:19):

Committed

Greg White (24:21):

Subscribe and vibe and enjoy the vibe. Subscribe it. Tequila, sunrise, wherever you get your podcasts. Give me your thoughts and suggestions. I know you have a thanks for spending your time with me and as always remember, acknowledge reality, but never be bound.

Greg White (24:39):

Bye.

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Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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